Whether you’re remodeling the inside or outside of your house, cost is likely to be one of your chief concerns.
Most homeowners start out on the right foot by setting a specific budget for their home improvement project. In many cases, however, it doesn’t take long for a project to go off the financial rails. Before they know it, they’re sinking far more money into a renovated kitchen or new roof than they anticipated. Where did it all go wrong?
Here are four of the top reasons why the average cost of a home remodel is so high — and how to avoid a home remodel budget buster of your own.
1. Underestimating the Total Cost of a Home Remodel
When planning a home remodeling project, one of the most common mistakes homeowners make is underestimating the total price tag for the job.
This is an easy trap to fall into, as most renovations are something the average homeowner takes on only once or twice every couple of decades. In some cases, such as a roof replacement, a homeowner may tackle it just once over the lifespan of their home.
To put this into perspective, let’s use a different product as an example. Imagine you only needed to buy new clothing every 30 years. If you only entered a shopping mall or department store once every three decades, you would probably be shocked at the changes in the cost of clothing.
Similarly, if you plan a home remodel without familiarizing yourself with the average cost of the project you have in mind, you’re likely to under budget.
The Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine is an excellent resource for researching the average costs of the most popular home remodeling projects. You can view the average national cost, or you can filter the results for your particular region of the country. For example, in 2017, the average cost of a basement remodel is $71,115. Heading outside, the going rate for a replacement roof is $20,664.
2. Failing to Plan for Repairs
If you get inspired by the easy, breezy weekend renovations carried out on home improvement reality shows, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re seeing — and what you’re not seeing.
In an article for U.S. News Real Estate, Teresa Mears points out that home improvement reality shows may make for good entertainment, but they are, at the end of the day, more about entertaining than accurately depicting reality. In many cases, they don’t show the setbacks homeowners encounter when they discover they need to make a costly repair before moving forward with their renovation.
Even a relatively straightforward project like taking down old wallpaper can present unexpected challenges and costs. For example, the 100-year-old wallpaper in your Craftsman Bungalow may hide water-damaged walls that require replastering — an expensive and detail-oriented job that’s usually best left to the experts.
While you can’t anticipate every snag or pitfall, you can build some extra room in your budget for an unexpected repair.
3. Not Working with a Pro
The do-it-yourself industry spans nearly all trades and professions. These days, you can find instructions and advice on how to do just about everything on your own, from preparing your taxes to replacing your roof.
However, DIY isn’t well-suited to everything. As Lifehack explains, there are several very good reasons why you should hire a roofing contractor rather than attempting to install your own roof.
In some cases, you may save money up front by foregoing the help of a professional, but you’re likely to end up losing in the long run by attempting to take on a large, complicated home remodeling project by yourself.
4. Choosing the Wrong Contractor
Just as it’s important to go with a pro, it’s also important to choose the right professional for your project.
A popular mantra in the home improvement industry is to begin each remodeling project by getting three estimates. The problem with this approach is that many homeowners get their three estimates and then halt their search. In far too many cases, they simply choose the least expensive option and hope for the best.
This begs the question: what if the fourth contractor would have been the best fit for the job? Or the fifth or the sixth? Instead of insisting on exactly three estimates, seek out a contractor who offers the right combination of experience, positive reviews, quality of workmanship, and warranties on materials and installation. Using those guidelines, you may even find the right contractor is the first one you meet with.
In some cases, this approach may mean spending a little more on your project, but investing in a high-quality, professional job will end up saving you headaches and early replacement costs over the life of your property.
Call Nu Look Home Design to Discuss Your Project
Many factors influence the average cost of a home remodel project. Learn more about what to expect, and how you can keep your project’s costs on track, by scheduling a free in-home estimate.